Latest news

NSWCCL opposes abolition of independent monitor of counter-terrorism laws

NSWCCL has made a submission to the senate committee inquiring into the Government’s proposal to abolish the Independent National Security Legislation Monitor (INSLM)  as part of its  ‘red tape bonfire’.

The INSLM is an important independent position set up in 2010 with broad review functions relating to the intensely sensitive and complex area of counter-terrorism laws: whether these laws remain proportionate to the threat of terrorism in Australia and whether they contain appropriate safeguards to protect the rights of individuals.  

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NSWCCL condemns government proposals on racial vilification legislation

NSWCCL totally opposes the amendments to the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Freedom of Speech Repeal of S.18C) Bill 2014 issued as an exposure draft by the Commonwealth Attorney-General on the 25th March 2014.

The amendments will dramatically narrow the definition of unlawful racist speech and the contexts in which racial vilification will be allowed are so broad as to include almost every context in which public racist abuse could occur. The Act will effectively be gutted removing vital protections against racial vilification that have worked well for 20 years.  

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NSWCCL gives evidence in Senate review of Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties, represented by the President, Stephen Blanks, executive committee member Dr Martin Bibby and assistant secretary Jackson Rogers, gave evidence to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee in its review of the Telecommunications Interception Act on 23 April 2014.  Transcript of CCL’s evidence will be available shortly.

Article: Civil liberties advocates call for "the right to be forgotten" online

Read the NSWCCL submission (pdf)


NSWCCL makes submission to Senate review of Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act

CCL made an extended submission to the Senate’s review of the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act (the TIA Act). We emphasized the importance of privacy as a fundamental right, central to the maintenance of democratic societies and essential for the formation of dissent and the exercise of freedom. Surveillance is a tool of tyranny.

 

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Trivial and vexatious police prosecutions

Last year David Heilpern a senior NSW Magistrate inferred that there were possible collateral (political) reasons for a police prosecution against two coal seam gas protestors on the North Coast. 

In November the Council wrote to both the Ombudsman and the Minister for Police calling for an investigation into the issues involved which go to the very heart of the administration of criminal justice in NSW.  Copies of the correspondence are attached.  No response has been received from the Police Minister.  Council members met with the deputy Ombudsman and a principal investigator from that office in December last year.  No information has yet been forth coming.

The Council will not let this rest and will be seeking a further meeting with the Ombudsman upon the return of the principal investigator at the end of April.

NSWCCL Letter to Ombudsman

NSWCCL Letter to Police Minister


NSWCCL Opposes Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws

The proposed new laws will mean that persons found guilty of drug and alcohol fuelled “one-punch” assaults causing death will be subjected to a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years in jail with a maximum of 25 years.  Mandatory sentences for “one-punch” assaults have already been enacted in West Australia and the Northern Territory. 


NSWCCL requests withdrawal of repeal of INSLM role from red tape bonfire

Independent Monitor of counter-terrorism laws and intelligence agencies should not be abolished in Government’s ‘red tape bonfire’. NSWCCL urges Government to rethink, and failing that, parliament to block this unflagged repeal of an important and independent player in the oversight and monitoring of extraordinary counter-terrorism laws and the ways intelligence agencies interpret and use them.

NSWCCL Statement (pdf)


Submission to NSW Ombudsman's review of the use of the consorting provisions by the NSW Police Force - Division 7 Part 3A of the Crimes Act 1900 - November 2013

NSWCCL has made a submission to the  NSW Ombudsman's review of the use of the consorting provisions by the NSW Police Force - Division 7 Part 3A of the Crimes Act 1900 - November 2013.

The current NSW consorting laws impinge on human rights to a degree that far exceeds any benefit that may be obtained from them. The NSW Ombudsman is currently reviewing the police use of these laws, these laws should be repealed and/or radically amended.

Click here for the submission

Ombudsman's issue paper


Mandatory sentencing for “one-punch” assaults causing death with drug and alcohol related factors

The NSW Council for Civil Liberties opposes the NSW Government’s proposal for mandatory sentencing for “one-punch” assault causing death with drug and alcohol related factors.

The proposed new laws will mean that persons found guilty of drug and alcohol fuelled “one-punch” assaults causing death will be subjected to a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years in jail with a maximum of 25 years.  Mandatory sentences for “one-punch” assaults have already been enacted in West Australia and the Northern Territory.  

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Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters on the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Above the Line Voting) Bill 2013 - December 2013

NSWCCL has called for major reform of the Senate electoral system to ensure Senators are only elected if they have enough voter support and not due to inter-party preference deals. 

We made a submission to a parliamentary inquiry calling for the introduction of optional preferential voting in Senate elections and abolishing inter-party preference deals. This would mean that voters could vote for as many or few Senate parties and candidates as they wished and their preferences would be counted exactly as the voter indicated on the ballot instead of following an inter-party preference deal.

Click here for the submission